If you've been checking out this blog, you may have noted my ideas on how you can achieve the hand-rubbed brass look in a vintage patina without spending the money for someone else to do it.
I made this brooch using one of the gorgeous 50's Hong Kong plastic roses I brought back from last fall's buying trip. These roses were amazing; we only have a few left and have been selling remaining stock at Ebay. The molding is so fine, they almost seem to be porcelain til you get up close. Definitely the finest old Hong Kong plastic I've seen!
The leaves are raw brass that I soaked in my vinegar and salt solution and baked twice in the oven. This leaf is from old tooling that's been making the piece since the 30's...I have even seen this VERY leaf piece used in Joseff jewelry, which is vintage designer jewelry that is VERY collectable. The brooch went together easily, I used E-6000 glue. The pearls were set by hand with a tweezers.
It probably took fifteen minutes to assemble and a day to cure and gass off from the glue. I finished it with a very high quality straight bar back pinback, we carry them on our website at http://www.bsueboutiques.com
The leaves absolutely glow. They are not the dark, oily finish you see on the hand-rubbed pieces---it's not the exact same thing, of course. But it still has a wonderful vintage look with gorgeous highs and lows and the price spent for the components was much less and just as durable. How do I know?
Well, I've been doing it for at least 20 years. ;-)
When these pieces cool, you simply hit them on both sides with a very light coat of MATTE spray lacquer. Do that with appropriate ventilation or outside. When they dry nicely, you can go ahead and use them in a design. No finish lacquer besides this was used on this piece.
Very simple, easy to do, and something you could wear and enjoy for years....or sell at a profit!